How Music Charts

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*NSync performs at Coachella w/ Ariana Grande and Michael Jackson’s legacy deals with Leaving Neverland...but does this affect their music data? @chartmetric #musicindustry #business #data #nerdout #analysis

Show Notes

  • Highlights
    • *NSync performs at Coachella w/ Ariana Grande and Michael Jackson’s legacy deals with Leaving Neverland...but does this affect their music data?
  • Mission
    • Good morning, it’s Jason here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Wednesday April 17th 2019.
  • Legacy acts in the spotlight
    • Most of the time, music data is all about the frontline releases, the next emerging artists and global superstars...but what about legacy acts?
    • Loosely defined, legacy acts are any artists that have had a successful career and have since left their glory days, yet still hold sway over the general public.
    • In this sense, late 90s/early 2000s American boy band *NSYNC and the late Michael Jackson fit this definition.
    • But sometimes, the work of such acts bubble up again for one reason or another, and sometimes they are good, and sometimes not so much.
    • Exhibit 1: Just this past Sunday, reigning American pop queen Ariana Grande invited NSYNC on stage (minus Justin Timberlake) to perform a few of their hits as part of her headlining set. The various teasers leading up to the event have given way to performance reviews on all the music outlets, and while the effect is diluted on Ms. Grande’s red-hot career, how does this affect the former group that haven’t released original material since 2001?
    • Legacy acts on streaming services are an odd juxtaposition of the old and the new, but for NSYNC, they are enjoying streaming metrics that would otherwise be great for an up and coming act.
    • At 6.1M Spotify monthly listeners and 914K followers, this gives them listener to follower ratio of 6.7, putting them ahead of Charli XCX and even Billie Eilish. This actually makes a lot of sense for the group, because a high ratio is usually the result of a highly loyal but small following with little to no marketing reach…and a now-defunct yet hugely famous 2000s boy band pretty much fits that bill to a T.
    • In terms of immediate effects observed, they’re pretty much nil: no major editorial playlists on either Spotify, Apple, Amazon or Deezer added NSYNC records, and while their Spotify daily follower count jumped roughly 50%, it was only an additional 600 or so followers from their norm.
    • If anything, their Twitter daily followers jumped 10x after Sunday and their Instagram daily followers popped 15x their norm, which makes sense given the very Instagrammable nature of Coachella, but already there seems to be no long-term effects.
    • Now while there was a fun, no strings attached nature to the one-time Coachella performance, Michael Jackson’s legacy has recently taken a turn for the not-so-flattering.
    • At the beginning of March, HBO released a documentary called Finding Neverland directed by British filmmaker Dan Reed, which focuses on the testimonials of two now-grown men that were allegedly sexually abused as children by the former King of Pop.
    • Both traditional and social media were not quiet about the exposé, but  nevertheless, Michael Jackson’s music data profile doesn’t seem to have really experienced much of any difference: his Spotify daily follower patterns show no real changes  since March and his monthly listener count slowed slightly from 22.3M at the beginning of the month to 21.5M currently. This metric is largely buoyed by Drake’s sampling of Jackson in the track “Don’t Matter to Me” on Drake’s juggernaut album Scorpion.
    • After Finding Neverland’s release, Jackson’s YouTube daily channel subscribers only briefly fluctuated to twice his average then cut in half from his average before returning back to normal, and his Wikipedia page views peaked at 6x his daily norm until returning back his average of about 30K views a few weeks after.
    • What may be most interesting is how radio airplay has reacted: among 300 of the most influential US radio stations, they collectively went from spinning Jackson’s music roughly 100-150 times a day during the holiday months of Nov/Dec last year, and now trickling down to just 10 spins a day as of early April.
    • Due to the limited airtime stations have and the more localized connection they have to their listeners, this might create more accountability and the need to insulate themselves from angry listeners revolted by the documentary.
    • All in all, some say that in the show business, “any publicity is good publicity”, but from a music data perspective, at least for these artists, maybe it should be “any publicity doesn’t affect our legacy much.”
  • Outro
    • That’s it for your Daily Data Dump for Wednesday April 17th 2019. This is Jason from Chartmetric.
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    • Happy Wednesday, see you tomorrow! 

What is How Music Charts?

Welcome to How Music Charts, where we bring you interviews and analysis from music industry professionals bridging data and creativity in the music business every day. Feel free to email us ([email protected]), say hi on our socials (@chartmetric), and dive deeper into music and data on our blog ( Free accounts are available at!